Elevator accident: NMA calls for psychological support for deceased doctor’s family

The Nigerian Medical Association has called on the Lagos State government to provide psychological support for the family of the late Dr. Vwaere Odiaso.

The doctor died last Tuesday at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, after she was trapped an elevator for more than 40 minutes after it crash-landed.

The NMA also urged the state government to provide psychological support for the doctors residing and working in the General Hospital, Odan.

In a press statement signed by the NMA President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah, Lagos state government was also urged to initiate an inspection of all public elevators in Lagos state and commence routine maintenance.

“NMA has keenly followed the issues surrounding the avoidable death of our young colleague Dr. Vwaere Diaso from injuries sustained from the crash of the elevator in the House Officers’ quarters of General Hospital Odan.

“Let us at this point send our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased colleague. It is our prayer that God shall console the entire family and grant the soul of the departed peaceful repose.

“That this death was avoidable is not in doubt as the stories surrounding the elevator leave a very sour taste in the mouth. After reviewing all the facts, it is clear that Dr. Vwaere was a victim of gross negligence in the maintenance of the elevator.

“We, hereby, commend all the efforts by our members in Lagos State in ensuring justice for our departed colleague and call on the government of Lagos State to make hay while the sun shines.

“NMA hereby calls on Lagos State Government to quickly initiate measures to assuage the pains and loss being felt by the family of Dr. Vwaere. The Government should also provide psychological support for the family and all the doctors residing and working in the General Hospital, Odan. The Government should also initiate the inspection of all public elevators in Lagos State and commence routine maintenance,” Dr. Ojinmah said.

He also called on the Lagos state government to carry out a thorough investigation and mete out appropriate sanctions.

“NMA wants justice to be seen to be done and shall resist any attempt to subvert or mitigate it.

“Let all tiers of government in Nigeria learn a lesson from the loss of this young doctor and make sure that such avoidable deaths are prevented. Let her death not go in vain but become a trigger for us all to imbibe routine maintenance culture. May we never spill another innocent blood as a nation,” he prayed.

PUNCH Healthwise had reported that the young doctor died in the malfunctioned elevator that crash-landed from the 9th floor while on her way to collect the food she had ordered from a dispatch rider.

Lagos hospital accused of negligence as doctor dies in elevator accident – Healthwise (punchng.com)

Her death had since generated widespread outcry and criticism across the country and in the diaspora.

Investigations have commenced unravelling the immediate and remote circumstances surrounding Dr. Diaso’s death and promised to sanction anyone found culpable.

Lagos sets up inquiry team to investigate doctor’s death inside hospital elevator – Healthwise (punchng.com)

Already, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suspended the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Management Agency, Adenike Adekambi and blacklisted facility managers of the hospital after the panel of inquiry set up submitted its report.

Elevator incident: Sanwo-Olu suspends LASIAMA boss, sacks facility managers over doctor’s death – Healthwise (punchng.com)

In a statement by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Olumide Sogunle, on Sunday, the governor took the decisions after the panel of inquiry set up by the state government to unravel circumstances that led to the doctor’s death submitted its report.

“Following the incident, we immediately set up a panel to look into its likely causes, identify persons who might be culpable, and suggest ways of preventing any future occurrence.

“For transparency, the membership of the panel included representatives of the Medical Guild and six representatives of House Officers.

“The panel has now concluded its deliberations and submitted its report. Based on our initial findings, the Lagos State Government has taken the following actions:

“We have sacked and blacklisted the Facility Managers. The GM of Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Management Agency is to immediately proceed on suspension

“The operations and line of reporting of the facility managers have been restructured to involve the hospital management directly

“We have handed the installation and maintenance contractors to the police for further investigation and likely prosecution if they are found culpable,” the statement partly read.

It was also revealed that the police will also investigate anyone else that might be negligent

It stated further, “Engineers are working to unravel why all the safety devices of the elevator failed at the same time

“All our staff are fully insured. We have informed our life insurance providers about this incident.

“The Lagos Safety Commission has been directed to immediately carry out an audit of all elevators in public offices. This is besides the usual safety arrangements that have always existed.”

The governor disclosed that the ill-fated elevator that crashed was installed as brand new in 2021, adding that elevator experts working with the Lagos Safety Commission had carried out an initial inspection and would have it removed for further mechanical examination to determine why the safety features that should prevent this kind of accident did not work.


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